Title: The Infinite Sea
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA/Speculative Fiction
Publication Date: September 16th 2014 (by Penguin)
Reminds me of: The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I was hunting through the bookshops the day The Infinite Sea came out. Eventually I found a copy at Dycmocks and even squealed aloud (much to my boyfriend’s horror). But I had every reason to be that excited, because as far as sequels go Yancey did a really impressive job.
Synopsis: How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate. Source
The Infinite Sea is the second book in the trilogy. While it’s definitely quieter than the first novel I wouldn’t say it suffers from middle book syndrome (I don’t have the last instalment to compare it to, but I think it’s a fair assumption). Although not a criticism, I found myself backtracking frequently as I got too swept up in the plot to stay focused on the way things were worded (focus is a necessity). Yancey’s managed to construct a linguistically stunning piece of work in a YA novel, and keep us mesmerised simultaneously in the fast paced plot. He explores what exactly it means to be human and what makes up humanity – a central theme of the novel. I’ll give you a hint: pay extra close attention to the mention of Vincit Qui Patitur and you’ll appreciate the novel for its full worth. Continue reading
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publication Date: February 8 2005 by Simon & Schuster
Reminds me of: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Divergent series by Veronica Roth
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.
The choice Tally makes changes her world forever… Source
I would have been 11 at the time Uglies was published and I can guarantee it was not my cup of tea then. I remember picking it up at the library and thinking ugh… In short, I wasn’t into sci-fi yet. It’s funny though how books we initially frown upon end up being quite notable in our later reading years. On first thought I found the book predictable and clichéd but the books I was comparing it to came years later! I don’t think it’s fair to describe Uglies like that because it most likely was a book that inspired contemporary authors. On the surface, Uglies is a book that glorifies cosmetic surgery and idolises aesthetics but there’s so much more to it…
Uglies is set in a post-apocalyptic world set off by a worldwide oil contamination (props to Westerfeld because that’s a brilliantly unique way to kill us all off). The city folk’s morals are conflicting. We understand killing animals or cutting down trees is an atrocious act so we get the idea they believe in all things natural and worship the environment – something Westerfeld has made clear their predecessors had no respect for at all (they’re called the Rusties and we think they’re pretty nuts for treating the planet as they did).
Then there’s a whole new kind of crazy – their obsession with beauty. It’s nice that kids aren’t pressured to be self conscious about the way they look but once they turn sixteen they undergo intense cosmetic surgery to aesthetically enhance them to perfection – or rather, Pretty. You’re Ugly prior your surgery and Pretty after. It’s pretty self explanatory. Life is easy from then on and your only job then is to love life and party it up every day in New Pretty Town. It’s paradise. But if everyone looked the same would that really make the world a better place? Would conflict appease? Continue reading
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: 2010 by Penguin
Reminds me of: Die for Me Series by Amy Plum
Stephanie Perkins is doing big things and with the much anticipated release of Isla and the Happily Ever After I finally decided to hop on the bandwagon and give her novels a go. I was so happy I did. With summer around the corner, its novels like Perkins’ I’m on the lookout for. The easy, happy go lucky type. The sort that makes you lose track of time and your surroundings. You’ll smile and blush and giggle out loud.
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for? Source
Oh my God Anna. She is such a fantastic protagonist. Her sarcasm is so real and relatable. She doesn’t sugar coat things, she’s not blunt and has it in her to take any joke one step further. I just found her so different to any other heroine in such a fantastic way. Like when Anna jokes about pregnancy and her virginity while rubbing Victor Noir’s shiny wang… that scene had to have gotten at least a smirk out of you. She really makes you feel things – whether it be homesickness or frustration – one of her shining qualities is connecting with the reader.
I did like St Clair… and I didn’t. That’s the point. Continue reading
As aforementioned about a billion times I’m a proud Aussie. And also female. And a passionate feminist. When I came across the Australian Women’s Writing Challenge (AWWC) I got all sorts of excited as I found a way I can actively support Aussie women authors aside from buying their books. Any publicity is good publicity they say, but my blog is dedicated to supporting authors not cutting them down. So of course I’m proud to say I signed up to the challenge. I promised to read 6 books written by Australia authors and review at least 4.
“The 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge was set up to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. The challenge encourages avid readers and book bloggers, male and female.”
– AWWC website
The challenge will run from Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2014 and you can sign up however late into the year as you please. The challenge welcomes everyone from every corner of the globe to give it a go – you don’t need to be Aussie to indulge yourself in the challenge. Continue reading
Title: The Maze Runner Trilogy (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure)
Author: James Dashner
Publication Date: October 6th 2009 by Random House (The Maze Runner)
Reminds me of: The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I’m give a 3 in 1 book review a go. So bear with me here!
In honour of read an eBook day, I downloaded The Maze Runner onto my Kindle. Over a week I ended up finishing the trilogy because I was absolutely hooked. I was so excited about my hour long train ride to work or uni because I’d get the chance to keep reading! If you’ve been contemplating picking up the books before you see the movie read on!
The Maze Runner was brilliant. I said above it reminded me of the Goosebumps series and for a good reason! If you’re familiar with them you’ll remember the cliff-hanger each one ended on. You had to keep reading. The suspense was killing you. It’s exactly the same here and in The Scorch Trials. Continue reading
Because yes that’s a thing!!
Read an eBook Day is a celebration of modern storytelling. Every reader has a book they love, has a favorite reading spot, has been moved by powerful prose. All of these make up who we are as readers and even shape who we are as people. It’s a great thing to put some time aside in your day to curl up to an awesome book. With the never slowing pace of technology it’s comforting to know the Tech God’s didn’t forget us book lovers. Continue reading
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA/ Romance
Publication Date: 26th of February 2013 by Orion (Hachette)
Reminds me of: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
If I had to sum up Eleanor & Park in one word it would be cute. It was actually the same word used by the girl I tutor who urged me to read it. “YOU NEED TO READ IT!” When you hear that phrase your expectations are either sky high or extremely wary about the other person’s taste. Since her taste in books is pretty similar to mine I sat with the book in high hopes. The fact I loved it and went into it with such a positive frame of mind should be a testament of its greatness. How often do you go into a book with high hopes without getting disappointed?!
Eleanor & Park is the love story of two misfits. Initially the two are either annoyed or cautious of the other, but develop a quiet and mutual attraction to each other. Rowell captures young love so beautifully you feel yourself blushing beside Eleanor AND Park every time their relationship makes a significant (but baby) step. Their first words to each other were a big enough deal to elicit a YESSS FINALLY out of me.
Apart from love there are themes of family drama and individual identification.
Eleanor is not living in the ideal family environment. She loves her siblings dearly but her step-father makes living at home hell. She demonstrates courage standing up to him and other times falters in anxiety. Her fear is real and I felt myself gripping the pages tighter every scene Richie came into. Her eventual escape is bittersweet leaving behind her siblings and Park in order to escape Richie’s wrath. Her insecurities are reflected in her communication channels with Park. While she can’t express herself as eloquently as he can, she certainly feels the same way. Her character development reaches its epitome in the final sentence. Continue reading